Smash hit musical The Bodyguard is back and X Factor winner Alexandra Burke has returned to take on the leading role, originally made my famous by Whitney Houston in the film.
The Bodyguard is an intense but romantic story following superstar Rachel Merron. She has millions of fans but with that profile comes danger. After receiving threats, Boydguard Frank Farmer is hired as protection and what begins as hate between the two, turns into something a lot more lasting.
It starts with a bang
Literally. From a gunshot to a gig, you are thrown into the Musical at full force. It’s part play, film and concert. This hybrid is unusual but fitting.
The whole production has a cinematic feel. Tension is built with moody lighting, video montages and a menacing underscore. Drama is heightened through powerful streams of smoke, fire and projection.
Costumes glitter and the set looks expensive. Shutters box the stage so when its true scale is revealed wow moments are created. It’s a superstar set up.
A gift to the ear
And thanks to the films Grammy Award winning soundtrack, this musical is gifted with chart toppers such as ‘I will always love you’, ‘I wanna dance with somebody’, ‘So emotional’ and ‘Greatest love of all’.
Alexandra Burke’s deep tones add originality to Whitney’s hits but never veer too far from the original. Her characterisation of Rachel is spot on and choreography sharp. She’s a triple threat.
Burke is closely rivalled by Emmy Willow (Nicki Merron) who reaches notes that break the sound barrier. Together they are a dream as showcased in their duet of ‘Run to You’.
Ben Lewis (Frank Farmer) is stoic and strong with a softness to counterbalance. He’s likeable, even more so following his woeful yet hilarious attempt at ‘I will always love you’.
It’s hard to deny, this is a cheesy love story kept dramatic through the stalker plot. The only time it tips the scales is during an image of Farmer before the big finale – just a tad too tacky for my liking.
The Bodyguard packs a powerful punch. Whitney Houston fan or not, this show is too thrilling to miss.
The Bodyguard the Musical is playing at the Palace Theatre until Saturday 4 January 2020. FIND TICKETS HERE.
IMAGE CREDITS: Paul Coltas